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Russia-Baiting Pushed Trump to Attack Syria—and Increases the Risks of Nuclear Annihilation

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(Screenshot: NBC News)

  • The anti-Russia bandwagon has gained so much momentum that a national frenzy is boosting the odds of unfathomable catastrophe.
  • Related: Special Report | Syria debate

Norman Solomon, Common Dreams 

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Bomb%20with%20US%20Flag.jpgMonday, April 10, 2017 | Vast efforts to portray Donald Trump as Vladimir Putin’s flunky have given Trump huge incentives to prove otherwise. Last Thursday, he began the process in a big way by ordering a missile attack on Russia’s close ally Syria. In the aftermath of the attack, the cheerleading from U.S. mass media was close to unanimous, and the assault won lots of praise on Capitol Hill. Finally, the protracted and fervent depictions of Trump as a Kremlin tool were getting some tangible results.

At this point, the anti-Russia bandwagon has gained so much momentum that a national frenzy is boosting the odds of unfathomable catastrophe. The world’s two nuclear superpowers are in confrontation mode.

It’s urgent to tell ourselves and each other: Wake up!

Norman Solomon is co-founder of RootsAction.org and founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. His books include War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death” and "Made Love, Got War: Close Encounters with America's Warfare State".

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Special Report | Syria debate, Ruth Conniff <>, the Progressive 

On the anniversary of U.S. entry into World War I, we should be wary of arguments for war.

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Charles Pierce | Stop Lying to Yourself About Donald Trump

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  • Pierce writes: "Trump is merely a cruder manifestation of the political prion disease that has afflicted conservatism and the Republican Party since it first ate the monkeybrains 35 years ago."
  • For the 2016 ecosystem, he might have been the perfect candidate.
  • Related: I Blame Us

Charles P. Pierce, Esquire 

Apr 20, 2017 | Here inside the Beltway bubble, we don't really know what's happening in real America. (To that end, the satellite radio monopoly has given a radio show to Salena Zito, chronicler of the salt of the earth for those people for whom Hillbilly Elegy is too heavy a lift.) Unlike many of the cynics and elitists hereabouts, I maintain an optimistic view of my fellow Americans out in the boonies. I think they're all going to get together next October and announce that it's all been an elaborate prank.

I hope that's the case because, otherwise…yikes. From The Buffalo News:

Charles P. Pierce has been a working journalist since 1976. He is the author of four books, most recently 'Idiot America.'

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I Blame UsEvan Handler, Huffington Post

It is our fault. We allowed it. We are allowing it right now.

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Philosopher Henry Giroux on the culture of cruelty and Donald Trump: America is “a democracy on life support — it can’t breathe.”

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(Credit: Getty/Jim Watson/Shutterstock)

  • Author of a new book on Trump's rise says we face "something so dark, so real, so evil" with no clear precedent.
  • A conversation with Henry Giroux
  • Related: Richard Schatten | The Future of America? It's up to We, the People!

Chauncey DeVega, Salon

Sunday, Apr 23, 2017 | Next week we will mark the 100th day that Donald Trump has been president of the United States. Tens of millions of Americans are still in a state of shock. These 100 days have made them feel like enemy outsiders in their own country.

It was said some years ago that “when fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” This left the American people unprepared for how neofascism came instead in the form of Donald Trump, a reality TV star, racist, bigot, con artist and professional wrestling aficionado.

How did the United States arrive at this moment?

Chauncey DeVega is a politics staff writer for Salon

Henry Giroux is a professor of English and cultural studies at McMaster University in Canada. He has written dozens of articles and books, including “America at War with Itself” and the forthcoming “The Public in Peril: Trump and the Menace of American Authoritarianism.”

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Richard Schatten | The Future of America? It's up to We, the People! Richard Schatten

Whether you want to face facts or not … the truth? Our Choice is simple; A) Become a Fascist Nation with its suppression and its Draconian Policies … or B) Try to make our Democracy Work. Those are the only real choices we truly have!

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‘On Contact With Chris Hedges’: Eugene O’Neill’s Revision of Electra Shatters the American Myth

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RT via YouTube

O’Neill viewed the illusions that continue to power the American myth machine, “which have now largely supplanted reality itself, as a kind of disease eating away at the American soul.” --Chris Hedges

Kasia Anderson, Truthdig 

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Apr 23, 2017 | A culture saturated with artifice and false promises of success and happiness doesn’t easily accommodate the kinds of ideas playwright Eugene O’Neill made it his business to dramatize onstage. As Chris Hedges explains in this week’s episode of his RT show “On Contact,” that’s precisely why his work is so important at this moment.

Calling O’Neill “America’s most revolutionary and perhaps greatest playwright,” who took on the critical project of “shattering of the American myth,” Hedges invites two people who know his work from the inside out—actor Eunice Wong and director David Herskovits—for a conversation about O’Neill’s significance. Wong, who is Hedges’ wife, as well as Truthdig’s book review editor, will appear as Lavinia Mannon in the Target Margin Theater’s production of “Mourning Becomes Electra.” Directed by Herskovits at the Abrons Art Center in New York City, the play opens Wednesday and runs through May 20.

Kasia Anderson is a deputy editor at Truthdig .

Full story … 

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House Republicans to Troops: Pay for Your Own Damn GI Bill

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  • That is the hypocrisy of the Republican ethos. They will wave the flag and trumpet patriotism, but when they see the faces of the people who make up the force that protects them and provides their freedom, what they want to say is, “Thank you for your service ... but not really.”
  • 1 in 4 vets of Iraq, Afghanistan wars visiting Minneapolis VA need food help, study finds.

Michael Harriot, The Root

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017 | Just like when Republicans talk about “family values” and then you find out they’ve been having secret sex meet-ups in airport bathrooms or abusing teenage boys, when conservatives say they “support the troops,” they usually mean they’re sending them overseas to fight for oil profits, but now it also means they’re taxing them for their own benefits.

According to the Military Times, House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) has drafted legislation that would charge soldiers $100 a month for access to the GI Bill. The bill would deduct a total of $2,400 from each soldier’s paycheck to make them eligible. To be clear, this money would not be used to offset spending, because it would only be a fraction of the total cost. Supporters of the proposal (pronounced “as soles”) say that having soldiers “buy in” would make future budget-makers less likely to cut veterans benefits, which is a lie.

Michael Harriot is a staff writer at The Root, host of "The Black One" podcast and editor-in-chief of the daily digital magazine NegusWhoRead.

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Related:

1 in 4 vets of Iraq, Afghanistan wars visiting Minneapolis VA need food help, study finds, Susan Perry, MinnPost 

Study author Rachel Widome: “The estimates for the costs of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq range between $4 and $6 trillion. They went on for over a decade. I just think it’s unconscionable that such a sizeable proportion of our military that we sent to fight these wars are struggling to afford food.”

 

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What a policy of real solidarity with the Syrian people looks like

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New York, NY - April 07 | People participate in a protest against a recent American missile strike in Syria in Union Square on April 7, 2017 in New York, United States. The strike, on Syrian military Air base, came days after it is suspected that the Syrian government used chemical weapons against a rebel held town. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • Even a strong shift on issues like the International Criminal Court won’t suffice unless the United States begins to change its alliances among the Syrian people.
  • Related: Because Passover is a refugee story, one synagogue invited refugees to Seder

James Trimarco, YES! Magazine / Waging Nonviolence

April 10, 2017 | After the release of horrifying images of Syrian civilians killed by chemical attacks on Tuesday, there were predictable demands that the United States should “take action” against the regime of Bashar Al-Assad. Indeed, hawkish voices in both the Democratic and Republican parties have been calling for U.S. military engagement in Syria at least since March 2013, when more than two dozen people were killed in a sarin gas attack in the country’s north. In this context, Trump stands to benefit politically from Thursday’s missile strikes against a Syrian airfield.

In his address to the nation, Trump said the goal is “to end the slaughter and bloodshed.” But many Middle East experts say airstrikes won’t stop the violence. Assad’s regime and its allies have already weathered more than 100,000 casualties in a civil war that has killed or injured more than 11 percent of the country’s population. Assad immediately responded to Trump’s missiles with a promise that the attack “does not change the deep policies” of the Syrian government. As if on cue, the town that suffered the chemical weapons on Tuesday was bombed again on Friday and Saturday—presumably by the Syrian government.

James Trimarco is a senior editor at YES! Magazine

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Because Passover is a refugee story, one synagogue invited refugees to Seder, Eric March, Upworthy 

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  • This year, Beth-El is preparing to host over 100 congregants and some special first-time guests: about 50 refugees, most from Afghanistan.
  • "There’s a saying in Judaism that a little light dispels a lot of darkness," Knopf says. "So even though we’re just one little community in one little city, I think we’re doing a lot of illuminating for at least this group of people."
  •  

Richard Schatten | The Future of America? It's up to We, the People!

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Whether you want to face facts or not … the truth? Our Choice is simple; A) Become a Fascist Nation with its suppression and its Draconian Policies … or B) Try to make our Democracy Work. Those are the only real choices we truly have!

Richard Schatten

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March 7, 2017 | We, the People of the United States Of America are truly living in a state Intellectual Dysfunction. William Gaddis once said: "Stupidity is the deliberate cultivation of Ignorance".

Cultivating the uneducated, poorly educated and undereducated is not new in Authoritarian regimes … it's called "Indoctrination" of the masses! ... and the younger the better!

Richard Schatten is a former Resprtory Therapist residing in Klamath Falls, OR.

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